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When Clinton pushed Obama to sign the Panama deal, the critics warned that Panama is a tax haven and this deal would open the flood gates for stashing off-shore money. Below are the statements from each candidate at the time.
WORDS MATTER. FACTS MATTER.
This is Bernie's speech against it:
Finally, Mr. President, let's talk about the Panama Free Trade Agreement.
Panama's entire annual economic output is only $26.7 billion a year, or about two-tenths of one percent of the U.S. economy. No-one can legitimately make the claim that approving this free trade agreement will significantly increase American jobs.
Then, why would we be considering a stand-alone free trade agreement with this country?
Well, it turns out that Panama is a world leader when it comes to allowing wealthy Americans and large corporations to evade U.S. taxes by stashing their cash in off-shore tax havens. And, the Panama Free Trade Agreement would make this bad situation much worse.
Each and every year, the wealthy and large corporations evade $100 billion in U.S. taxes through abusive and illegal offshore tax havens in Panama and other countries.
According to Citizens for Tax Justice, "A tax haven . . . has one of three characteristics: It has no income tax or a very low-rate income tax; it has bank secrecy laws; and it has a history of non-cooperation with other countries on exchanging information about tax matters. Panama has all three of those. ... They're probably the worst."
Mr. President, the trade agreement with Panama would effectively bar the U.S. from cracking down on illegal and abusive offshore tax havens in Panama. In fact, combating tax haven abuse in Panama would be a violation of this free trade agreement, exposing the U.S. to fines from international authorities.
In 2008, the Government Accountability Office said that 17 of the 100 largest American companies were operating a total of 42 subsidiaries in Panama. This free trade agreement would make it easier for the wealthy and large corporations to avoid paying U.S. taxes and it must be defeated. At a time when we have a record-breaking $14.7 trillion national debt and an unsustainable federal deficit, the last thing that we should be doing is making it easier for the wealthiest people and most profitable corporations in this country to avoid paying their fair share in taxes by setting-up offshore tax havens in Panama.
Adding insult to injury, Mr. President, the Panama FTA would require the United States to waive Buy America requirements for procurement bids from thousands of foreign firms, including many Chinese firms, incorporated in this major tax haven. That may make sense to China, it does not make sense to me.
Finally, Panama is also listed by the State Department as a major venue for Mexican and Colombian drug cartel money laundering. Should we be rewarding this country with a free trade agreement? I think the answer should be a resounding no.
There is much more in Bernie's speech about how these trade deals end up costing American jobs and hurting the American people.
Hillary's released statement for it:
Posted by FourScore | Tue Apr 5, 2016, 10:05 AM (42 replies)
Corporate Media Gatekeepers Protect Western 1% From Panama Leak
3 Apr, 2016 in Uncategorized by craig
Whoever leaked the Mossack Fonseca papers appears motivated by a genuine desire to expose the system that enables the ultra wealthy to hide their massive stashes, often corruptly obtained and all involved in tax avoidance. These Panamanian lawyers hide the wealth of a significant proportion of the 1%, and the massive leak of their documents ought to be a wonderful thing.
Unfortunately the leaker has made the dreadful mistake of turning to the western corporate media to publicise the results. In consequence the first major story, published today by the Guardian, is all about Vladimir Putin and a cellist on the fiddle. As it happens I believe the story and have no doubt Putin is bent.
But why focus on Russia? Russian wealth is only a tiny minority of the money hidden away with the aid of Mossack Fonseca. In fact, it soon becomes obvious that the selective reporting is going to stink.
The Suddeutsche Zeitung, which received the leak, gives a detailed explanation of the methodology the corporate media used to search the files. The main search they have done is for names associated with breaking UN sanctions regimes. The Guardian reports this too and helpfully lists those countries as Zimbabwe, North Korea, Russia and Syria. The filtering of this Mossack Fonseca information by the corporate media follows a direct western governmental agenda. There is no mention at all of use of Mossack Fonseca by massive western corporations or western billionaires – the main customers. And the Guardian is quick to reassure that “much of the leaked material will remain private.”
What do you expect? The leak is being managed by the grandly but laughably named “International Consortium of Investigative Journalists”, which is funded and organised entirely by the USA’s Center for Public Integrity. Their funders include
Rockefeller Family Fund
W K Kellogg Foundation
Open Society Foundation (Soros)
among many others. Do not expect a genuine expose of western capitalism. The dirty secrets of western corporations will remain unpublished.
Expect hits at Russia, Iran and Syria and some tiny “balancing” western country like Iceland. A superannuated UK peer or two will be sacrificed – someone already with dementia.
The corporate media – the Guardian and BBC in the UK – have exclusive access to the database which you and I cannot see. They are protecting themselves from even seeing western corporations’ sensitive information by only looking at those documents which are brought up by specific searches such as UN sanctions busters. Never forget the Guardian smashed its copies of the Snowden files on the instruction of MI6.
What if they did Mossack Fonseca database searches on the owners of all the corporate media and their companies, and all the editors and senior corporate media journalists? What if they did Mossack Fonseca searches on all the most senior people at the BBC? What if they did Mossack Fonseca searches on every donor to the Center for Public Integrity and their companies?
What if they did Mossack Fonseca searches on every listed company in the western stock exchanges, and on every western millionaire they could trace?
That would be much more interesting. I know Russia and China are corrupt, you don’t have to tell me that. What if you look at things that we might, here in the west, be able to rise up and do something about?
And what if you corporate lapdogs let the people see the actual data?
Hundreds of thousands of people have read this post in the 11 hours since it was published – despite it being overnight here in the UK. There are 235,918 “impressions” on twitter (as twitter calls them) and over 3,700 people have “shared” so far on Facebook, bringing scores of new readers each.
I would remind you that this blog is produced free for the public good and you are welcome to republish or re-use this article or any other material freely anywhere without requesting further permission.
Posted by FourScore | Tue Apr 5, 2016, 12:34 AM (12 replies)
Bernie has said over and over that he never wants to win an election through voter suppression. I could be wrong, but it looks to me as though shenanigans happened.
Right now there are allegations flying all around. Apparently, this got sent out to the delegates (not clear by whom):
Then, only Bernie supporters were contacted and told they did indeed need to be there (probably by a Bernie organizer). The caucus chair of Clark County has been fired - not sure why...but I think it's about forwarding an internal email with sensitive Clinton info.
It's dirty. It's icky. Bernie had nothing to do with it; just like Hillary had nothing to do with the AZ disaster.
And how many more delegates did it really get us? Is it worth it? Honestly, is it?
It just ain't right.
A vote is sacred. Always.
FELLOW BERNIE SUPPORTERS - This is OUR revolution. He has said over and over, it's not about him, it's about US. Is this who we are? Really? Because it's not who I am. Are we going to complain about what happened in Massachusetts and Arizona, but be gleeful about this in NV? We shouldn't get to pick and choose our moral outrage.
I know I'm going to get beat up like all hell for this, but bring it on, because I know I'm on the right side this time.
In THIS case, I'm not on Bernie's side; I'm not on Hillary's side; I'm on the side of VOTER INTEGRITY!!
Shit! Bring it on!
EDIT: My preference at this point would be to delete this thread. However, there is so much discussion, that I will leave it for a bit longer. Clearly, the issue here is mostly that I do not understand the caucus process. But I believe I will delete it soon as I do not want my post in any way to reflect badly on the Bernie supporters who worked so hard for this win. Additionally, the email sent out (posted in this OP) appears to reflect the actual rules (see post #60 from RichVRichV). I will say, however, I am not a big fan of the caucus process.
Posted by FourScore | Sun Apr 3, 2016, 01:00 AM (89 replies)
We all know our elections are being tampered with - Ohio and the .gov server, Diebold, ES&S, and most recently, the purging and changing of voter registrations in AZ. Here is the fascinating story of a man who rigged elections in Latin America for a living. It would be naive to believe it could never happen here.
How to Hack an Election
Andrés Sepúlveda rigged elections throughout Latin America for almost a decade. He tells his story for the first time.
By Jordan Robertson, Michael Riley, and Andrew Willis | March 31, 2016
Photographs by Juan Arredondo
From Bloomberg Businessweek
It was just before midnight when Enrique Peña Nieto declared victory as the newly elected president of Mexico. Peña Nieto was a lawyer and a millionaire, from a family of mayors and governors. His wife was a telenovela star. He beamed as he was showered with red, green, and white confetti at the Mexico City headquarters of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which had ruled for more than 70 years before being forced out in 2000. Returning the party to power on that night in July 2012, Peña Nieto vowed to tame drug violence, fight corruption, and open a more transparent era in Mexican politics.
Two thousand miles away, in an apartment in Bogotá’s upscale Chicó Navarra neighborhood, Andrés Sepúlveda sat before six computer screens. Sepúlveda is Colombian, bricklike, with a shaved head, goatee, and a tattoo of a QR code containing an encryption key on the back of his head. On his nape are the words “</head>” and “<body>” stacked atop each other, dark riffs on coding. He was watching a live feed of Peña Nieto’s victory party, waiting for an official declaration of the results.
When Peña Nieto won, Sepúlveda began destroying evidence. He drilled holes in flash drives, hard drives, and cell phones, fried their circuits in a microwave, then broke them to shards with a hammer. He shredded documents and flushed them down the toilet and erased servers in Russia and Ukraine rented anonymously with Bitcoins. He was dismantling what he says was a secret history of one of the dirtiest Latin American campaigns in recent memory.
For eight years, Sepúlveda, now 31, says he traveled the continent rigging major political campaigns. With a budget of $600,000, the Peña Nieto job was by far his most complex. He led a team of hackers that stole campaign strategies, manipulated social media to create false waves of enthusiasm and derision, and installed spyware in opposition offices, all to help Peña Nieto, a right-of-center candidate, eke out a victory. On that July night, he cracked bottle after bottle of Colón Negra beer in celebration. As usual on election night, he was alone...
...Sepúlveda says he was offered several political jobs in Spain, which he says he turned down because he was too busy. On the question of whether the U.S. presidential campaign is being tampered with, he is unequivocal. “I’m 100 percent sure it is,” he says...
...In July 2015, Sepúlveda sat in the small courtyard of the Bunker, poured himself a cup of coffee from a thermos, and took out a pack of Marlboro cigarettes. He says he wants to tell his story because the public doesn’t grasp the power hackers exert over modern elections or the specialized skills needed to stop them. “I worked with presidents, public figures with great power, and did many things with absolutely no regrets because I did it with full conviction and under a clear objective, to end dictatorship and socialist governments in Latin America,” he says. “I have always said that there are two types of politics—what people see and what really makes things happen. I worked in politics that are not seen...”
Posted by FourScore | Fri Apr 1, 2016, 07:59 PM (9 replies)
If you really want to understand all sides of this, then I refer you to this link:
It's long. Very, very long. I suggest fixing some kind of drink, turn off the phone, and start reading.
I would love to know what you think.
(Please help keep it kicked for wider viewership. Very important reading!!)
Posted by FourScore | Fri Apr 1, 2016, 04:43 PM (126 replies)
I have noticed that there has been an increase in anti-Bernie posts lately, and wow! THEY ARE REALLY REACHING!! Everything from snubbing his wife, to Susan Sarandon, to Bernie's tone (I really had to laugh at that one - especially since no has been able to find a single Bernie commercial yet where Hillary is even mentioned), to FEC accusations from that honorable man, David Brock. You get the drift. They got nothin' so they are trying to hammer him with bullshit.
Here's my plea - don't respond to them.
The majority of Clinton supporters on this website behave well and truly believe they are supporting the better candidate. However, there are a handful of very vocal Hillary supporters who wanna fight. We all know who they are by now - it really is about 6-10 people with about 3-4 of them leading the charge. They love to demonize Sanders and those who support him, and they continue to spread this crap. Typically, they have multiple negative posts about Bernie in GD: P at all times. They goad us in the comment section, and I, personally, have found it best not to engage. If you do, you're just drawing more attention to their bullshit.
Please let it go. It's like feeding trolls. We don't feed trolls, and we shouldn't feed the nasty Bernie posts. Let 'em drop. If you want to write a rebuttal regarding their accusations, do so in your own post.
There. I'm done.
Thanks for listening to my rant and have a nice day.
Posted by FourScore | Wed Mar 30, 2016, 09:51 AM (17 replies)
There is a White House petition for an AZ REVOTE. It currently has just over 60,000 signatures - please DU that thing! No matter if you are a democrat, republican, independent, Bernie supporter, Clinton supporter...too many people were shut out. It appears election fraud occurred, but even if it was all random bad luck, there needs to be a do-over. Here's the link:
The meme I have seen on certain websites is that re-elections never happen. I am here to tell you they can, they do and why.
In the mid 1960's, Jimmy Carter ran for the first time in his life for office - the GA state legislature in the district where my family was living. It appeared he would win easily, although he had an opponent - a man known to be a white supremacist. Surprisingly, the other fellow won by an enormous margin. Everyone assumed that ballot stuffing was involved, but such cases are difficult to prove. Carter turned to my father for legal council. They took it court, during which time an unopened ballot box was discovered. They popped it open in court and saw the ballots still rolled up together for the opponent. No one had even bothered to unroll them. The judge ruled for a re-vote, and Carter won with a landslide victory. Can you imagine how history may have been altered if that revote had never happened?
DEMAND A RE-VOTE IN ARIZONA!!!
(This is all documented in Carter's book Turing Point, also on the "American Perspective" documentary on Carter, as well as other sources.)
Posted by FourScore | Wed Mar 30, 2016, 09:28 AM (15 replies)
Found this on twitter. I don't know if it is credible, but worth looking into.
Posted by FourScore | Tue Mar 29, 2016, 11:08 AM (5 replies)
From change.org - please sign.
Petitioning Senator Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders MUST Contest Arizona Election Results and Address Systemic Election Rigging
Deborah Lusignan Adams, MA
Open Letter to Bernie Sander's Campaign from Supporters:
We, as your supporters/volunteers/donors and advocates for the People's movement are DEEPLY concerned about what appears to be systemic election rigging within the Democratic primary and the failure of the Sanders' campaign to address problems as they have revealed themselves.
State by state, we have witnessed serious issues with caucus rigging (video evidence emerging showing Clinton staff miscounting votes/allowing Clinton voters to go into caucuses unregistered, misinforming caucus participants of rules resulting in invalidating Sanders votes). The violations were so severe in Iowa that the editorial board of the newspaper that endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Presidency, the Des Moines Register called for an independent audit and full investigation to determine what went wrong. In Nevada, we have video of Clinton supporters being allowed to vote in the caucus unregistered and miscounting vote. The concerns about manipulations by the Clinton campaign in Nevada resulted in Nurses United (the Nurses' union that endorsed Sen Sanders) to request independent polling monitors be brought in to oversee elections in remaining primary states.
In addition, we have seen a consistent trend of exit polling not matching election outcomes in Arizona, Massachusetts, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois indicating wins for Senator Sanders in these states. Additionally, exit polls in other states indicate much closer outcomes than reported results. In Massachusetts, we witnessed unadjusted exit polls indicating a double digit win for Bernie Sanders and hand counted precincts in Massachusetts going to Senator Sanders by 17% over Hillary Clinton. In Arizona, exit polls conducted by the Daily Courier indicated Sanders winning by 62% over Clinton’s 37% yet current results are indicating an inexplicable double digit win for Clinton. Exit polling has been consistently correct in predicting Republican primary outcomes from the same outlets conducting the Democratic polling. This is a major red flag.
We also have video evidence that Bill Clinton broke the law by campaigning INSIDE Massachusetts polling places and shutting down polling stations for several hours as he canvased these precincts. Despite this being against state law, the severe disruption in voting that occurred, and a petition of over 100,000 people demanding that the state take legal action against Clinton for these violations, nothing was done. This emboldened Bill Clinton to repeat the same behavior in precincts in Illinois, and Hillary Clinton was seen campaigning at a precinct in North Carolina during voting on that state's primary day. Voters felt enormously disrespected that the Clinton's interfered with our voting process and upset the Sanders campaign did not hold them to account for illegally disrupting our voting process.
Additionally, there is a serious concern about purged voter rolls with voters in every primary state thus far reporting incidents where individuals were either removed from the rolls or did not have their registration update changes in status that would have allowed them to participate in the 2016 Democratic primary. Florida and Arizona was the most egregious in voters reporting removal from the rolls with many citizens being denied the vote entirely or only allowed to vote on provisional ballots. Additionally, in Arizona we witnessed mass suppression of the vote as the state provided only sixty polling places for participation in contrast to the 200 that were available for the 2012 uncontested Democratic primary election. Voters reported waiting in lines for up to six hours. The mainstream news media predicted a victory for Clinton with available exit polling data indicating a Sanders win and thousands of voters still waiting in line to cast a vote. This reeks of wag the dog politics, and we have zero faith that the outcome in Arizona is any way indicative of the actual results of that election.
Additionally, we are finding that vote by mail and absentee ballot registration is consistently favoring Hillary Clinton THREE to ONE and this is occurring EVEN in states where Sen Sanders is winning in double digit blow out margins over Clinton.
This is a short list of the issues and problems that have been reported in the Democratic primary thus far. Please refer to this blog for sources, videos, documentation, and video evidence compiled by state. The claims made in this petition are documented on this site.
As supporters of this movement, we are troubled by the failure of the campaign to address these issues as they have arisen. We are puzzled why hand recounts of sample precincts were not requested in states where exit polls and election outcomes did not match. The machines we vote on are subject to tampering and remote hacking and election results have been shown to change by simple calibration of these machines. We are disturbed that the campaign failed to follow up with recounts in Missouri when exit polls showed a clear Sanders win in this state, and election precinct totals showed statistically improbable changes to favor Clinton in larger voting areas such as St Louis. If the campaign did not want the voters to incur the cost for a full recount in this state, it would have been prudent to request hand recounts of ballots in precincts that presented red flags. Our concern in Missouri, and indeed all the primary states, is not to pick up one or two extra delegates, but reveal what we believe could be mass election fraud.
Given the amount of evidence, it has come to the point of irresponsibility by the campaign to continue to ignore this issue. Volunteers and supporters have given literally hundreds of thousands of man hours and millions of dollars in donations to drive this campaign to success. We have a right to expect the campaign will employ every possibly means of safeguarding our vote. Therefore, we request the campaign:
Fully contest the election results in the state of Arizona. The amount of voter suppression and problems in this state demand a full revote.
File for hand counts in states where exit poll results did not match election outcomes where it is legally allowed. If the campaign does not want to pay or recount entire states, we implore the campaign to request counts in states that presented red flags in reporting statistically improbable changes that favored Hillary Clinton. (St Louis in Missouri, Chicago in Illinois, etc). Immediately pursue any redress available in Massachusetts to the full extent of the law
Conduct exit polling in future primary states and immediately request sample hand counts of precincts if election outcomes do not match polling results to document for any possible fraud and challenge results wherein such fraud is documented.
Immediately respond to any future illegal behavior from the Clinton campaign (Bill Clinton illegally canvassing polls, video evidence of caucus rigging from Clinton campaign) and reports of mass voter purging or vote suppression by pursuing any/all legal avenues to provide redress.
It is the campaign's duty to ensure that they utilize every avenue available to protect our vote and ensure that our movement to elect a People's representative to the Presidency isn't thwarted by illicit or illegal tactics from any entity.
URGENT UPDATE: After the Arizona debacle with reports of thousands of Sanders supporters being purged from the voter rolls, voters in upcoming primary states started double checking their registration status. We are getting reports from voters in Wisconsin, New York, California, Washington, and other upcoming states and some have had their party affiliation changed from Democratic to another status or found they are no longer on the rolls. If you are voting in an upcoming primary or caucus state, DOUBLE CHECK your voter registration status and bring documentation to the polls of your eligibility. If you are purged, also contact the Sanders campaign. The Sanders campaign should make available an immediate hotline for reporters to report this issue AND issue a statement to warn voters to check their registration status.
Posted by FourScore | Tue Mar 29, 2016, 12:28 AM (6 replies)
(If interested, please help to keep this kicked for wider viewership. It is getting lots of recs, but dropping like a stone. I find it particularly important that voters in NY and CA be on the alert and check out their voter registration. Thank you.)
Pretty damning stuff. Somebody definitely hacked the election, although, unfortunately, no concrete proof. I believe a full FBI investigation needs to be instigated, and Bernie should sue the state of AZ.
Concerned that we might only be hearing one side of the story, Anonymous has used our very best online research methods in an attempt to discover what the reach of this potentially rather substantial scandal may be. We searched deeply on multiple social media sites, using a wide variety of search terms. We looked into every news story we could reasonably find reporting on this phenomenon. We engaged directly with a few Republicans and Hillary Clinton supporters on Twitter. We tried various general Google searches. We were looking very closely at specific reports where individuals said either that they or someone they knew directly (a relative, friend, or person they were at the polls with) had experienced having their voter registration changed without their knowledge. Where we were able to have direct contact with Democrats making such claims, we asked whether they supported Sanders or Clinton. While these results are far from comprehensive (there are likely well over a thousand of these little reports out there), we have done our best to get an accurate sampling. As reported on Twitter, these are our results:
...Arizona’s Secretary of State website stores its data in SQL databases. Properly maintained (a big question given Arizona’s constant penny wise, pound foolish budgeting), SQL databases can be defended against hackers with a moderate or lesser skill level. But SQL databases in general have been known to have a particular, structural flaw for decades. SQL Injection, where random data is entered into a data entry field, can trigger an SQL database to give up most or all of its goods to an unauthorized user. SQL Injection is nearly always the first line of attack a hacker learns, and at its most basic level, it can literally be taught to a toddler . A Vice article from November is entitled “The History of SQL Injection, the Hack That Will Never Go Away.” It notes that SQL Injection repeatedly takes the number one spot in Open Web Application Security Project Foundation’s triennial report on threats that websites face...
...At this point, it is clear that some of the cases, like Ms. Robertson’s, stem from ridiculous new procedures put in place by Arizona’s Secretary of State and Motor Vehicles Division. That said, other cases like Bianca’s, clearly do not fit that pattern, and the apparent overwhelming impact on Sanders supporters cannot be explained by a glitch that should have hit all parties and candidate supporters in roughly equal numbers.
The numbers in Pima County and Maricopa are particularly glaring. Reports of five-inch thick piles of provisional ballots and up to 2/3 of ballots in a particular voting location in Pima are quite suspicious. Numbers Anonymous is using internally to monitor election results across the country suggest that Sanders should have won student rich, and reliably progressive Pima county comfortably. The lack of polling stations alone in Maricopa County cannot explain how Phoenix, with a Democratic Mayor, could see Republicans show up at the polls on election day to the tune of around 80,000 voters, while Democrats cast a paltry 33,000 votes in Maricopa County on election day...
...In that vein, we should note that there are now likewise dozens and dozens of reports of Sanders supporters in places like Pennsylvania and New York, with upcoming closed primaries, finding that their own registrations have been switched. One such report arrived in our inbox on Friday morning, the final day for new voter registrations in New York. The emailer told us that the website for New York was going up and down intermittently. We asked what link they were using. When we checked it, our Tor Browser informed us that the website was insecure, presenting an invalid encryption certificate.
link to Anonymous's AZ switched database:
These are glaring results.
Can also follow on twitter here: https://twitter.com/HiveComm/with_replies
EDIT: This was their initial release on March 26:
Posted by FourScore | Mon Mar 28, 2016, 12:41 PM (48 replies)